ECHR report: Jeremy Corbyn's team 'meddled in 23 anti-Semitism complaints as leader & is responsible for failings'
JEREMY Corbyn is "responsible" for the party's failing to deal with anti-Semitism as leader – and his top team meddled in 23 claims of hate – a scathing report found today.
The equality watchdog said anti-semitism "could have been tackled more effectively if the leadership had chosen to do so", pinning the blame squarely at the foot of the former Labour boss.
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The long-awaited ECHR report into anti-Semitism in the Labour party found there were three separate breaches of the law.
This was for members harassing Jewish members, for Mr Corbyn stepping in and interfering with complaints of anti-semitic bullying, and for the party failing to provide training to deal with those complaints.
And they found the "failure of leadership" was down to Mr Corbyn.
There was "evidence of political interference within his office" throughout his time as party boss.
Alasdair Henderson, from the EHRC, said today: "The failure of leadership was during the time when Jeremy Corbyn was leader.
"As leader of the party, with evidence of political interference within his office, he has a responsibility for those failings."
But the Labour boss today refused to apologise for his role in the sorry saga, instead blaming "political opponents" for whipping it up and "overstating" it.
Sir Keir has vowed that anyone saying anti-Semitism is exaggerated has no place in the party – but he stopped short of kicking him out today.
The report found:
- Labour had "serious failings" in leadership and its complaints process wasn't up to scratch
- Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone was found guilty of harassment
- At the worst the party "could be seen to accept" anti-Jew hate
- Labour had a policy of not investigating anti-Semitic posts which were "shared" or "liked" by members – meaning they could share as much as they wanted
In a shameless statement, Mr Corbyn said today: "The scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media."
And he added he "did not accept all of the reports findings."
He blamed inheriting a broken complaints system and attacked the party for failing to overhaul it.
Mr Corbyn claimed as leader he was "determined to eliminate all forms of racism" including anti-Semitism – but the ECHR said his team had meddled in complaints.
The report found there were three separate breaches of the law – for members harassing Jewish members, Mr Corbyn's team stepping in and interfering with complaints of anti-semitic bullying, and the party failing to provide training to deal with those complaints.
Members of the Labour Party pushed "anti-semitic tropes" and when victims of the abuse raised their voice, they were told their claims were "fake".
Sir Keir Starmer said it was a "day of shame" for the party and demanded a change in culture in the party.
He accepted the report in full and vowed to come up with a plan to tackle all the issues within six weeks.
In a warning shot at critics he blasted: "If you are anti-semitic, you should be nowhere near this party, and we will make sure you are not.
"We have failed our members, our supporters and the British public.
"I am truly sorry for the pain and grief that has been caused."
In a side swipe at the former Labour boss he said anyone who claimed anti-Semitism was "exaggerated" was a "part of the problem".
But he fell short of telling Mr Corbyn he must leave the party – disappointing critics.
Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said the report was a "groundbreaking document".
He said: "The debate is over. Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, the Labour Party became institutionally antisemitic. It drove almost half of British Jews to consider leaving the country.
"For five miserable years, every effort to compel Labour to reform failed.
"The EHRC’s findings and recommendations today – that Labour’s leadership and culture created an unlawful environment that discriminated against Jews – closely align with the hundreds of pages of evidence and argument that we submitted to the EHRC over many months."
“Frankly, this report would not be much different had we written it. It is the dispensing of British justice that British Jews have sorely awaited, but has been denied for too long.
“Jeremy Corbyn and those around him who took part in or enabled the gaslighting, harassment and victimisation of Britain’s Jewish minority are shamed for all time.
"Those who defended and stood by them are shown to have made possible the closest flirtation that mainstream British politics has had with antisemitism in modern history."
The Labour party should, according to the EHRC:
- Commission an independent process to handle and determine antisemitism complaints
- Admit political interference has affected the process
- Implement clear rules and guidance that ban and sanction any inappropriate interference
- Put in place long-term arrangements for independent oversight of the complaint handling process to make sure it doesn't happen again
- Put together a guide of policy complaints – including how they are investigated and what sanctions could be dished out
- Review and update its ‘Code of Conduct: Social Media Policy’ warning Labour members may face action if they peddle anti-Jew hate
- Mandatory new training for all people involved in the complaints process within 6 months
- Anyone found guilty of anti-semitism to take an educational course
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